Schoen Clinic sponsored world ranking golfer with Cerebral Palsy wins 2022 G4D British Masters Tour
Talented 23-year-old Kipp Popert from Sevenoaks, Kent who last year soared to the top of world rankings for golfers with a disability, became the first winner of the G4D British Masters Tour, in May 2022.
Kipp, who graduated from Birmingham University in 2020, has his sights firmly set on another world medal and is hopeful for golf to be officially recognised as a Paralympic sport. What makes his list of achievements all the more impressive is that he was born with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects muscle control, reflex and coordination in his legs. Kipp is as humble as he is ambitious and keen to say how grateful he is to his sponsors, including Schoen Clinic for the support and encouragement they’ve given him in his career and also to the NHS.
Although not a degenerative condition, his childhood diagnosis of cerebral palsy has meant Kipp had over ten surgeries to cut and lengthen the bilateral muscles in his legs and enable him to place his heels down fully; two of these took place before his 8th birthday.
He describes how his parents, his mother a GP and father a urological surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’, first realised he was having difficulty walking. “I was born 10 weeks premature and it wasn’t until I was 3 that I began learning to walk. I was on the beach and they noticed only toe prints in the sand – not the whole foot imprint, that was when they realised, I was walking only on my toes and I couldn’t put my heel down fully.”
Kipp who has three younger siblings, spent many childhood years learning pain management and wearing leg casts during the night to help with ankle inflection. Most of his surgeries and protracted recuperation took place during the school summer holidays, leaving him out of action for 4-6 months at a time. He endured his two biggest surgeries between the ages of 16 and 18 when he underwent foot reconstruction.
Schoen Clinic are proud sponsors of Kipp
Schoen Clinic UK’s Managing Director Andy Davey says “Kipp is an inspirational young man and a talented golfer. To win the G4D British Masters is an incredible achievement and we’re behind him all the way in the Porsche European Open. Good luck Kipp!”
When asked about his aspirations Kipp says he’s always wanted to be a pro golfer. He describes how as a child, he used to watch golfing videos with his father and how he could hit a golf ball from the moment he could walk. He tried all sports as a child but always came back to golf. He describes his tough mental mindset as genetic, “both my parents worked extremely hard but were never pushy with me. When I didn’t get picked for sports teams at school, I saw that as a challenge.”
Kipp’s aspirations increased after the tragic death of his cousin and good friend, rugby league player, Archie Bruce, in 2019, aged just 20. Kipp says: “I decided then that I wanted to achieve something, for him. I’m self-motivated and I aspire one day to represent my country in the Paralympics and turn full-time professional in able-bodied golf, it’s my ambition to bridge the gap between able-bodied and disability sport."
The next G4D (Golf for the Disabled) Tour event will took place from 30th-31st May with G4D @ Porsche European Open at Green Eagle Golf Courses in Hamburg, Germany, with further events taking place in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Spain and Dubai in 2022.
Show your support for Kipp by following his journey on Instagram.